While most businesses went downhill during the pandemic, online learning and online trading are two sectors that have seen exponential growth. Young India is interested in equity trading like never before, and they seek knowledge from expert guides. LearnApp aims to add skills to the professionals through video sessions by industry leaders and regular live sessions by industry veterans.
It is a perfect example of the uprise that online learning has witnessed, plus the interest in investing and trading. And within its first four months, LearnApp has generated total revenue of Rs 4.5 million.
Prateek Singh, the founder of LearnApp and a seasoned trader, talks about investment trading and how new entrepreneurs can scale up their business in unprecedented times.
Pandemic saw markets crashing, but there’s an increase in the number of traders. How do you see this trend?
During the lockdown, most of urban India spent time counting the money saved from the office commute and ordering in. They also noticed the rise of the stock market. This was perfect. Most of them had time, others money, and some had the will to learn how to invest and trade. The lockdown has changed the trajectory of India’s stock market participation forever. And since we are one of the more popular platforms for learning to trade and investing, we got lucky.
Second, it is a lot easier to learn, open a DEMAT account and invest in mutual funds than it has ever been before. Over 90% of our users are from India, followed by the USA, UAE, Germany, and Singapore. Think of this, India’s most popular fintech platforms have between 1-3 million users. At Least 30 million people will start learning about investing and trading in the next few years. But their first step is not going to be opening an account; it’ll be learning. The growth for learning platforms has only just begun.
LearnApp focuses on three categories — investing, trading, and business. What is the most relevant course for a millennial?
For a millennial, the most relevant course is investing, followed by trading. Millennials today have a choice to save their money and build wealth. Learning how to invest will help them build long-term wealth and get into the habit of saving money. Trading is important to balance risk and never blow your account. It teaches you how to ride the wave, regardless of how the markets are performing. Managing money is all about risk management, and so is life. So, if millennials learn to manage money, they can use this skill to live a better life, too.
Many suggest investing in mutual funds rather than trade in stocks. What do you have to say?
Direct equity investing and mutual funds are booming. The self-taught investors download investing apps and invest in funds/stocks without the help of professional advisors. There is a growing number of ‘do-it-yourself’ investors that want to learn and build portfolios on their own. These investors do their research on investment and trading and do not depend on advisors and brokers for decisions.
You run courses about business as a start-up of yourself. What value do you add/experience you share?
Businesses that are just starting should take care of these two things. You need to carve your path. We have courses that celebrate the path entrepreneurs took and made them successful. The next Elon Musk will have a path that looks nothing like what Elon took. Don’t emulate entrepreneurs; it won’t help.
Consistency is underrated. The leaders who teach at LearnApp have decades of experience in their field. They have continued their journey despite failures and setbacks, and that is what set them apart. Grinding at your craft day in and day out is the only luck that gives us overnight success; stay in the game as long as possible so luck favours you.
What does it take for a business to grow and flourish in times of a pandemic?
LearnApp was founded in 2018, but by February 2020, we saw plenty of subscribers cancelling their subscriptions and high bounce rates on the courses. While we had around 70,000 registered users, the numbers started to dwindle just when the pandemic started last year. We only had two options – we could have either shut-shop or raised more funding. We did neither. We spoke to as many users as we could every day and started making the minor changes they suggested. Soon subscriptions picked up, and we turned profitable.
All the cliches are true — listen to your customer! We addressed every little bug, every video course, and fixed all of that. Our completion rates went from less than 30% to over 50%. Completion rates are now a priority and a business metric that the content team measures, along with retention rates on each video. Courses that see a drop-off are picked out to be re-edited based on learner feedback. These micro-changes have a huge impact when done every week over a long period.
All images: Courtesy Shutterstock; Featured image: Courtesy Prateek Singh